Many international media unions, opposition leaders, and human rights organizations have condemned the arrest of Kappan and demanded his immediate release
New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday filed 5,000-page chargesheet in a Mathura court against journalist Siddique Kapppan and seven others including Popular Front of India’s students’ wing leader K.A. Rauf Sherif
Five of the accused — Campus Front of India’s (CFI) national general secretary Sherif, CFI national treasurer Atikur Rahman, Delhi CFI general secretary Masud Ahmed, Kappan and Mohammed Alam, who is a member of the CFI and the PFI, were present in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Pandey.
Two other accused– Anshad Badruddin and Firoz Khan — attended the hearing through video conferencing.
The accused have been charge-sheeted under Indian Penal Code sections of 153 (A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 124(A) (sedition), 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings…) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), according to the defence counsel.
They have also been charged with sections 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) related to raising funds for terror acts and various sections of the IT Act.
The court has fixed the next hearing on May 1.
Kappan is a freelance journalist who has been extensively covering politics, crime, and current affairs for several Kerala based news outlets including Azhimukham, Thejas Daily and Thalsamayam Midday Daily. He is also the secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.
Many international media unions, opposition leaders, and human rights organizations have been constantly raising concerns against the arrest of Kappan and have demanded his immediate release.
The top court has faced criticism as it conducted an instant hearing by a vocational bench and granted bail to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case. However, the same court has failed to order Kappan’s release despite several hearings.